Author Archives: CloudTweaks

Tips In Choosing Disaster Recovery Solutions

Tips In Choosing Disaster Recovery Solutions

Remember the story of the legendary passenger ship the Titanic? It was said to be unsinkable and yet on its first voyage in April of 1912, it sank to the bottom of the North Atlantic after an encounter with an iceberg. It may be over a hundred years later, but “infallible” products still cease to exist. This holds especially true with computers – the overall complexity of one of today’s simple laptop computers is arguably as complex as the human body. Unless proper care is maintained of computer systems, a failure can cripple an organization. This is why it is extremely important to ensure that appropriate measures are taken with systems that manage crucial business data.

A wide variety of back-up solutions are available for every size business in any industry. The most important first step to take is to formulate a plan. Even small businesses should have a solid plan for retaining and recovery data. It can start with a few simple questions:

  • How much data has my organization collected up until this point in time?
  • How much is it the data worth and what funds can be allocated to preventive maintenance?
  • What is my current system for storing and backing-up data?

Starting with small businesses, there are a broader range of options that can effectively serve data back-up needs. Some of the most ideal solutions today can be found with NAS – simply backing data up to an external storage system that is easily accessible is a good solution for some. Simple NAS devices parallel methods some larger industries use to retain and back-up information. However, NAS and simple USB external drives can all still fail. If this is the solution chosen, it’s important to maintain a regular back-up schedule, preferably some automated system, and also to check the health of the device as part of routine maintenance. Perhaps the best solution is to use an online back-up service such as Carbonite, SugarSync or Dropbox. These are great solutions that can scale from a small amount of storage offered for free up to many terabytes.

Businesses that have multiple locations as well as those that fall into the midsized business category may be able to use certain online services to retain data but there are hardware solutions that may better serve the company’s needs. If there is already an existing IT infrastructure it could potentially hold files for legacy software which still have value for a business. Preconfigured data storage systems like NorStor NS2000 from Nordisk are designed to integrate with an existing system in order to handle data storage for all types of files.

Large businesses that are not operating from a public cloud have many different solutions like redundant RAID arrays that automate data mirroring and hard drive rebuilding. This is probably the most effective way to ensure business continuity and protect against data loss. Of course, certain disasters can wipe out an entire machine, so extra caution should be taken, perhaps in further backing data to a remote location. Remember to keep an eye out for icebergs – it never hurts to have extra resources for back-up and recovery if it fits the budget.

By Deney Dentel,

Deney Dentel is the CEO at Nordisk Systems, Inc. Nordisk Systems is the only local IBM Premier Business Partner based in the Pacific Northwest, specialized in all IT solutions  including cloud computing services, disaster recovery, servers manged service, storage and virtualization.

Coca-Cola Bottling Company Quenches Its Thirst For Spend Optimization With Coupa

Coca-Cola Bottling Company Quenches Its Thirst For Spend Optimization With Coupa

Coupa Brings Mobility and Unparalleled Adoption to Hundreds of Users

SAN MATEO, Calif. – February 5, 2013 – Coupa Software, the leader of cloud-based spend optimization solutions, today announced that Coca-Cola Bottling Co. Consolidated (NASDAQ:COKE), the nation’s largest independent Coca-Cola bottler, has successfully rolled out its Coupa implementation. Coca-Cola Bottling Co. Consolidated (CCBCC) decided to swap out its legacy e-procurement platform and chose Coupa for its requisition to order process and for importing invoice information into one of its existing systems.

When evaluating spend optimization solutions, CCBCC really wanted a platform that would support mobile users in the field who rely heavily on iPads and iPhones to conduct business. They had poor user adoption rates with their legacy procurement solution, and they desired a much more intuitive solution that would boost adoption. Coupa supported all of CCBCC’s requirements for its 1,200-person user base. Coupa is also seamlessly integrated to Coca-Cola Bottling’s SAP ERP platform.

Our goal at CCBCC is to make, sell and deliver products better than anyone else in our market,” said Patrick Hopkins, procurement director of CCBCC. “Coupa is one of the technology solutions that is critical for us to sustain that goal. We had a very smooth transition to Coupa which is exactly what you want to see with the deployment of any new technology.”

When the deployment went live, CCBCC users were up and running almost instantly,” said Ravi Thakur, vice president, Services, Customers Success and Adoption for Coupa. “The support phones were quiet on day one, which is a testament to the ease-of-use of Coupa’s platform, and iPhone and iPad users immediately started placing orders for items they needed to keep their operations flowing. With such a successful rollout, we know that CCBCC is on its way to gaining better control over its procurement processes.”

About Coca-Cola Bottling Co. Consolidated
Coca-Cola Bottling Co. Consolidated (CCBCC) is the nation’s largest independent Coca-Cola bottler. They make, market, sell and distribute Coca-Cola products along with other unique beverages. CCBCC holds cola beverage agreements and allied beverage agreements, under which it produces, distributes, and markets beverage products of The Coca-Cola Company. The company also distributes and markets still beverages of The Coca-Cola Company, such as POWERade, vitaminwater, and Minute Maid Juices To Go, as well as produces, distributes, and markets Dasani water products under still beverage agreements. In addition, it holds agreements to produce and market Dr. Pepper products and various other products, including Monster energy products and Sundrop. CCBCC sells and distributes its products directly to retail stores and other outlets, including food markets, institutional accounts, and vending machine outlets with annual revenues over $1.5B.

About Coupa Software
Founded in 2006, Coupa Software is the leading provider of cloud-based spend optimization software. More than 300 customers in 40 countries use the Coupa purchasing and procurement software to amplify their spend power and reduce spending costs up to 11 percent. Only Coupa provides a true suite of cloud applications that enables customers to launch the solution immediately and quickly realize significant savings. Learn more at: or call 650.931.3200. Read more at our company blog, Making Cents, or follow @Coupa on Twitter.

Source: Coupa/Coca-Cola Bottling Co. Consolidated

Smooth BPM The Silver Lining Of Cloud Computing

Smooth BPM The Silver Lining Of Cloud Computing

Businesses rely on the implementation of processes. Cloud-based software provides a way for easy management and alleviates issues companies face trying to improve these processes, particularly when it comes to prototyping and modeling. A question many businesses are trying to address is: How can cloud ensure smooth Business Process Management?

The speed of getting started is a huge benefit of bringing cloud technology to BPM. Typically, BPM-in-the-cloud providers offer this capability “as a Service,” meaning that companies can start with BPM without the need to install and set up the software themselves. The price point to enter BPM through the cloud is usually lower due to the “pay for use” subscription model. Companies can “sample” BPM to see what if it is right for them. Finally, it is easier to orchestrate applications and data that reside in the cloud, so running BPM in the cloud makes processes more efficient.

BPM is converging with Platform-as-a-Service (PaaS), combining the benefits of application development and process support in an integrated cloud model. It allows companies to build smart process apps that are highly flexible and tailored to serve the end user with a cloud-based solution that eliminates traditional IT/business productivity challenges.

There are three questions to answer when it comes to BPM and the cloud:

  • Does a business have data and services in the cloud that processes must work with?
  • Does it want to execute processes in the cloud? If so, how does it include existing data and systems that aren’t in the cloud?
  • Is cloud really suitable for an organization’s needs today, tomorrow or somewhere in the future?

Clay Richardson from Forrester has spoken about the “mess of many.” Trying to create enterprise-wide business processes across different business units and systems was hard enough when everything was inside an organization. When businesses start to bring in data and systems into the cloud, they very quickly end up with process challenges doubled. Thus the “mess of many” – enterprise processes across on-premise systems as well as applications and software in the cloud.

BPM has always been used to improve business processes within an organization. As businesses move to the cloud it is crucial to maintain these consistent enterprise-wide processes when, for example, a CRM system runs in the cloud but ERP or HR systems run on-premise. This idea of hybrid processes that span across on-premise and cloud is where the majority of companies are right now. This does not mean that there aren’t “cloud-only” processes but this mix of everything is where most companies are at the moment.

A further impact of cloud technology on BPM is the idea of “mash apps.” The concept of “mashing up” process information with other data from both on-premise and the cloud to create process-centric composite applications is becoming as important as the end product for BPM.

The rapid rise of cloud computing and readily available free web-based business applications mean more business users are deploying and using technology solutions without the IT department’s involvement, one of the main attractions of “mash apps.”

Why should companies consider vendors with a cloud proposition instead of traditional on-premise suppliers? The easy answer to this is if a business isn’t sure about BPM then it can try it out in the cloud before making a commitment. Organizations often start in the cloud and then move back into on-premise and vice-versa. This flexibility is important to consider together with the idea of a hybrid model. There has been a noticeable rise in a new approach to a BPM appliance where the whole offering comes “in a box,” often delivered as a cloud-based PaaS.

There are real benefits from cloud and BPM:

  • Quick start, no IT hassle and focus on business value
  • Pay-as-you go subscription model
  • High degree of collaboration such as collaborative modeling
  • Orchestration of cloud services

However, to get this benefit it is important that companies ask themselves the right, honest questions. Navigating BPM and the cloud and making the correct, pragmatic choices ensures an organization is future-proofed, can get started quickly and can take the hybrid approach to make sure they aren’t getting themselves into that “mess of many” problem.

By Art Landro, CEO, Cordys

Art Landro is CEO of Cordys, a global provider of cloud platform software that lets you take your business into the cloud quickly and with minimal risk. For more information, please visit or to learn more about Cordys in the cloud applications, visit

Head In The Clouds: Getting A Cloud-Based Business Phone System

Head in the Clouds: Getting a Cloud-Based Business Phone System

Cloud technology is showing up everywhere as the best and most efficient means of data storage. If you’re a cloud technology enthusiast, you can now use a cloud system for your phone system, too.

Cloud (or virtual) PBXs are the latest in PBX technology. A PBX, or “public branch exchange” is the switchboard system that allows a business to successfully route inbound and outbound calls. Originally, a PBX was a large piece of hardware that needed to be manually operated and regularly maintained. Today, some businesses still use these traditional analog PBXs, but the more popular option is an IP PBX, or an Internet Protocol PBX, which uses the Internet to transfer calls, rather than traditional wireline technology.

If you’ve ever heard of VoIP (Voice over Internet Protocol), the technology that allows people to send phone calls over the Internet, IP PBXs are just the VoIP-friendly version of the traditional PBX. There are several variants on the IP PBX:

  • On-premise IP PBX: With an on-premise solution, customers can buy a hardware PBX, or build their own hardware system or software PBX platform. These are automatic systems that do not need manual management. However, customers will need to find a SIP trunk service provider to enable their IP PBX to send calls to and receive calls from out-of-office numbers. On-premise IP PBXs are great choices for people who love a tech challenge.
  • Hosted PBX (Cloud PBX): A hosted PBX is a PBX system that it run and maintained by a VoIP service provider. With a hosted service, all of the hardware components of the PBX system are stored at the service provider’s data center. This means that with a hosted PBX solution, customers spend much less on hardware, software, maintenance, and storage. Customers interface with their PBX through a control panel that they download onto their own computer. You may see the terms “hosted” and “virtual” or “cloud” used separately, but today, they all generally refer to the same thing: a hosted system that is based out of a service provider’s data center and provides the customer with a switchboard through a cloud platform.

How Do Cloud PBXs Work?

Starting off with the basics, cloud technology refers to simple cloud-based data storage. So, with a cloud PBX, all of the data of your PBX system is stored online in a cloud data system. When you decide you want a cloud PBX, you first need to find a VoIP service provider that offers cloud PBX options. Once you have contacted the service provider and set up a phone plan, the service provider can start your plan right away. You can control your cloud PBX through any Internet-enabled device, as long as you have all of the login information for your PBX account.

The service provider maintains the cloud system through their private facility, but the customer can personalize and manage their PBX through their account.

What are the Benefits of Cloud PBXs?

Running a business is already expensive, and companies need phone service that is cheap but reliable. Cloud PBXs are extremely cheap, around $20/month per extension, and they are very reliable, but the user doesn’t need to worry about finding a way to house and maintain their PBX in their own office.

With cloud PBX services, business owners can get as many extensions as they need, each with unlimited calling in the US. Customers will also have access to the full range of standard VoIP features like auto attendants that act as automatic operators, and hunt groups, that allow business owners to set up groups of extensions (like accounting, sales, etc.) so that calls can be sent directly to a specific department.

By Rachel Greenberg

Rachel Greenberg is the site editor for She is interested in technology and telecom, and the implications of changing technologies on the greater world.

What You Don’t Know About The Google Apps Cloud CAN Hurt You

What You Don’t Know About The Google Apps Cloud CAN Hurt You

What You Don’t Know About The Google Apps Cloud CAN Hurt You

The majority of the world’s computer users have used or are currently using Microsoft Office, Open Office, or one of many similar products for their desktop business application needs. A recent entrant to the fray, Google Apps boasts only about  50 million current users, a fraction of the reported half-a-billion users currently using Microsoft Office. As a recent convert to Google Apps, I have become a big believer in the benefits of cloud computing-based productivity software, and I believe that Google is a real threat to the Microsoft Office franchise. The Google Apps advantages are many, including ease-of-use, low cost, portability, and simple collaboration, but there are pitfalls when using Google Apps of which all users should be aware.

There’s a common misconception that once your data is in the cloud, it will stay there forever; but just like with an actual cloud, this isn’t the case. The cloud changes, shifts, morphs, and sometimes even shrinks when data is removed. Knowing this, it’s important to think about data protection issues for cloud computing and address them head-on. Here are a few you of these pitfalls should plan for:

You. This sounds very Kung Fu, but sometimes, you really are your own worst enemy. Whether you’re working with all of your files locally or storing them in the cloud, one thing is universal: it is absolutely possible to accidentally delete something with a few keystrokes or a click of the mouse. It has happened to all of us, and as sure as we breathe, it will probably happen again.

But how do you recover it once it’s gone? With desktop office productivity tools, if the file’s been deleted accidentally, you would always hold on to that small hope that it’s in your Recycle Bin or Trash folder somewhere, easily recoverable. If you’ve emptied the Trash since then though, you’re out of luck. With Google Apps, there’s also a Trash folder you can search. But in either case, the best and most foolproof solution is to have a backup system in place. People are always surprised to hear that backup is required in cloud computing, but alas, your files can disappear there just as easily as they can anywhere else. Luckily, most backup solutions for the cloud are affordable and easy to use.

Hackers. Most of us have had to send out this email at one point:

Hi everyone,

If you’ve gotten any email from me recently that’s just a link, DON’T OPEN IT! My account got hacked. So sorry you guys!

It’s one thing when your personal email is sending out spam to your friends, but when a hacker gets access to your business account, there’s a lot of sensitive information that they can access, not just in your emails but in the attached documents, contacts and more. (Ask the New York Times!)

Hackers could also be sending unsolicited junk and malicious emails to your contacts, at the expense of your reputation in the eyes of your clients and business partners. Hackers are not just a cloud problem; they’re everybody’s problem.

How do you protect yourself? There are services like 1Password, LastPass and KeePass that generate the most hacker-proof passwords and store them for you. Now, you’ll never remember any of these long and complicated passwords, but these services will do that for you so that you can log into everything with a single password. It’s entirely the same as how you’re doing it now, just more secure.


Bad syncs, data corruption and network glitches. once lost 4,000 documents to a Google Drive ownership transfer glitch. Fortunately, Spanning Backup was able to restore the documents for them before that “giant sucking sound” reached their administrator’s ears. And if you’ve ever sent a file over the network and had to resend it because the person on the other end couldn’t open the first version, you’ve seen first hand how easily files can get corrupted. The same dynamics are in play when you use Google Apps, including lots of data being sent over a sometimes unpredictable network. The cloud is great because it syncs everything beautifully most of the time, but there are times where a sync fails or file corruption occurs. It just happens; it’s another thing that is universal.

Switching to the cloud opens up a whole new world of possibilities – better collaboration, constant auto-saves, shorter email threads, and freedom from the host of little quirks that plague traditional desktop client/server software. But don’t get lulled into a false sense of cloud security; just as with on-premise software and systems, you need to take steps to protect your data. With just a little bit of planning and foresight, you can be ready to recover flawlessly when disaster strikes.

And as I already mentioned how Spanning saved the day for above, they could do the same for you whether you are a huge corporate entity or a lone Joe going through college. Spanning Backup is the most trusted Google Apps backup service on the market today. Find out why by visiting or the Google Apps Marketplace.

By Jeff Erramouspe, Chief Revenue Officer, Spanning Cloud Apps

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Cloud Infographic: The Cloud Strategy Race

Cloud Infographic: The Cloud Strategy Race

Cloud Infographic: The Cloud Strategy Race

Avere, a data storage company, recently teamed up with Gatepoint Research to look at cloud optimization strategies. The survey found that 80% of respondents have some sort of cloud storage in place. About 37% cited that they use the public cloud, while 35% cited they use a private cloud.

Additional survey findings included the following:
  • Respondents place the most value on scalability and flexibility
  • 81% of respondents already have, are investigating or are developing a cloud strategy
  • 45% of respondents plan on public cloud use within the next 5 years, 29% plan to use the private cloud and 22% will look to hybrid options
  • Respondents report plans to shift to cloud use for on-demand processing, storage and applications
  • Security is the number one concern regarding cloud use followed by uncertainty over service provider longevity and interoperability
  • Amazon EC2 and Amazon S3 are the most popular public cloud services being used
  • Disaster recovery and business continuity are key benefits of public cloud use


Source: Averesystems

Cloud Education: What Web Access Means To Students

Cloud Education: What Web Access Means To Students

What Web Access Means to Students

For decades, students have been feeling pressure to succeed earlier and earlier in their academic careers. It is also considered a universal truth that academic success is a key stepping stone in breaking the cycle of poverty.

Although upper-middle class and “rich kids” naturally enjoy access to more educational resources, the public library has always been an equalizing factor. In recent years the Internet has largely replaced the brick and mortar library as an educational resource.

The Internet is The New Library, Where Ever You Can Find It

As the Internet becomes a more important tool for student’s to research and make contact with their teachers, access to the ‘net is increasingly important to student success. This access shows serious holes in universal access for rural poor students.

Students in homes with 24 hour access to the net are simply able to do more and better homework than those who have to leave the house to acquire a WiFi signal. Educators are using cloud based lessons and tools to extend the learning day, but students who do not have web access simply miss out.

Drive In Restaurants Are For More Than Cheap Dates

Across the country, managers of McDonald’s fast food restaurants (which offer free WiFi) report an upsurge in business from students using the Internet, especially in the hours after the public libraries close. The cliché of young professionals hanging out in Starbuck’s does not fit as well for these underprivileged students for no other reason than there are more items on the McDonald’s menu that fall into the price point of a poor student than at Starbuck’s. (WiFi is available for free at both McDonald’s and Starbuck’s, and it is the corporate policy of both chains that purchase is not needed to use the service, but most students feel obligated to purchase something.)

Education and Cloud based technology are a natural fit, and educators are quick to recognize that Internet and computer skills are as important to students as arithmetic and reading. It seems criminal that the students who stand to receive the greatest benefit from Internet based education opportunities will miss out due to the geography of Web Access.

The FCC reports that strides are being made in bringing broadband availability to all Americans, including the rural poor. The technology exists to make this a truly wired nation, all that lacks is the political and financial will to make it so.

By Peter Knight

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Cloud Infographic: Security And DDoS

Cloud Infographic: Security And DDoS

Security, Security, Security!! Get use to it as we’ll be hearing more and more of this in the coming years. Collaborative security efforts from around the world must start as sometimes it feels there is a sense of Fait Accompli, that it’s simply too late to feel safe in this digital age. We may not…

The DDoS That Came Through IoT: A New Era For Cyber Crime

The DDoS That Came Through IoT: A New Era For Cyber Crime

A New Era for Cyber Crime Last September, the website of a well-known security journalist was hit by a massive DDoS attack. The site’s host stated it was the largest attack of that type they had ever seen. Rather than originating at an identifiable location, the attack seemed to come from everywhere, and it seemed…

Key Takeaways From Dyn’s DDoS Attack

Key Takeaways From Dyn’s DDoS Attack

DDoS Attack Takeaways  If you tried to access some of the world’s most popular websites, such as Twitter, Spotify, CNN, Netflix and The New York Times last Friday, you may have run into some trouble. Millions in the U.S. and Europe lost access to much of the internet in the wake of a cyberattack. Hackers…

A New CCTV Nightmare: Botnets And DDoS attacks

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How Formal Verification Can Thwart Change-Induced Network Outages and Breaches

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Part 1 – Connected Vehicles: Paving The Way For IoT On Wheels

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Three Tips To Simplify Governance, Risk and Compliance

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Governance, Risk and Compliance Businesses are under pressure to deliver against a backdrop of evolving regulations and security threats. In the face of such challenges they strive to perform better, be leaner, cut costs and be more efficient. Effective governance, risk and compliance (GRC) can help preserve the business’ corporate integrity and protect the brand,…

Three Ways To Secure The Enterprise Cloud

Three Ways To Secure The Enterprise Cloud

Secure The Enterprise Cloud Data is moving to the cloud. It is moving quickly and in enormous volumes. As this trend continues, more enterprise data will reside in the cloud and organizations will be faced with the challenge of entrusting even their most sensitive and critical data to a different security environment that comes with using…

The Cancer Moonshot: Collaboration Is Key

The Cancer Moonshot: Collaboration Is Key

Cancer Moonshot In his final State of the Union address in January 2016, President Obama announced a new American “moonshot” effort: finding a cure for cancer. The term “moonshot” comes from one of America’s greatest achievements, the moon landing. If the scientific community can achieve that kind of feat, then surely it can rally around…

Which Is Better For Your Company: Cloud-Based or On-Premise ERP Deployment?

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Cloud-Based or On-Premise ERP Deployment? You know how enterprise resource management (ERP) can improve processes within your supply chain, and the things to keep in mind when implementing an ERP system. But do you know if cloud-based or on-premise ERP deployment is better for your company or industry? While cloud computing is becoming more and…

Having Your Cybersecurity And Eating It Too

Having Your Cybersecurity And Eating It Too

The Catch 22 The very same year Marc Andreessen famously said that software was eating the world, the Chief Information Officer of the United States was announcing a major Cloud First goal. That was 2011. Five years later, as both the private and public sectors continue to adopt cloud-based software services, we’re interested in this…

The Importance of Cloud Backups: Guarding Your Data Against Hackers

The Importance of Cloud Backups: Guarding Your Data Against Hackers

The Importance of Cloud Backups Cloud platforms have become a necessary part of modern business with the benefits far outweighing the risks. However, the risks are real and account for billions of dollars in losses across the globe per year. If you’ve been hacked, you’re not alone. Here are some other companies in the past…


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